Nothing brings the family together than having positive family meals together. It’s at this junction where our kids learn to make healthy food choices, to communicate with others, and to master table manners. According to several studies, children who eat dinner with the family several times a week are healthier, happier, safer, and smarter in school. Kids can master table manners and dining etiquette, and they avoid developing some of the eating disorders. Another study shows that frequent family meals do improve children’s vocabulary, mood, academics, and they are always active. Here are some do’s and don’ts that each family should adhere to, for a successful and fruitful family dinner time;
Do Invite Everyone To Eat Together For Family Dinner
Let your kids grow understanding the importance of sitting together for a family dinner. Insist that everyone gathers around the dining table, even the little kids who are not ready for solid food or those who tend to keep themselves busy with other activities during dinner time. Make it mandatory even to the adults. Let the adults set a good example for children by observing dinner time and setting good eating habits. Make sure that everyone is on time and doesn’t exceed the dinner time to more than forty minutes.
Do Give The Kids Freedom To Choose From What On The Table
Ensure that everyone has the freedom to choose what they desire to eat from the food available on the table. Don’t force your kids to eat what they don’t want as this might encourage them to start skipping family dinner time with any excuse. At times, it’s advisable to involve other family members when deciding what to prepare for dinner. This another to ensure that everyone participates in planning, and this makes all family members enjoy their dinner.
Do Keep Trying If You Don’t Succeed
It’s not easy to bring all members of the family under one table in this current generation of tight work and school schedules. On the other hand, children get choosy and want only to eat what tastes good for them, and it might not cater to their nutritional requirements. Keep trying without giving up. Through your efforts, all family members will get to see the importance of coming together for family dinner.
Don’t Strain Your Kids To Finish Off Their Meal During Family Dinner
The objective of the family dinner is to bring the family members together, install good eating habits, and pass the family values to your kids. It’s not a platform to harass your kids with all kinds of threats. As a parent, don’t expect your children to eat at the same pass with you or get to eat the same amount as you. If they feed to their satisfaction and want to go on and enjoy their dessert, let them do so and don’t force them to clear up their meals. Things might get messy and angry.
Don’t Forbid Treats
Parent wants what best for their kids. Your child might be overweight, and you might feel tempted to make some food completely off-limit to help control their weight. Kids, in most cases, know what they want, and it might be a good idea to let them enjoy a portion of what they love. Let them know it alright to have what they want, but it’s also good to try something else even if in small portions.
Make sure to focus on the meal and all members of the family. Talk about fun and happy thing. Ensure that all electronic devices are off or away from the dining table, especially the TV and the phones. Don’t starve your kids waiting for dinner time. If they feel hungry, be free to offer a healthy snack before the dinner is ready. Family dinner time should be a moment to enjoy and relax from all-day activities. Avoid bringing up any issue that might lead to the argument as this might teach your kids unhealthy attitudes toward food.